Causes of Allergies
It is known that various allergies’ cases has increased significantly in recent years and allergy is said to be an illness of modern people. However, allergies have been around for a very long time. The first possible allergy case was found written in the Egyptian papyruses. It states that in 2641 BC the first Egyptian pharaoh, Menes has died of an insect sting. Another early source is Hippocrates (460 – 375 BC), who was the first to describe food allergies.
Causes of allergies
Nowadays, more and more people suffer from various allergic diseases. Sneezing, watery eyes, sore throat, various rashes can all be signs of an allergy. An allergy is a hypersensitivity of the body to certain environmental factors. These can be food, pollen, dust, cosmetics and so on. In people with allergic diseases, the body reacts to certain substances to which the body of a healthy person does not react at all. Such hypersensitivity causes damages to body’s tissues and organs.
The main causes of the spread of allergies:
– increasing environmental pollution
– excessive drugs’ treatment which is not prescribed by a doctor, but chosen at own discretion
– irrational diet of poor quality food containing a variety of preservatives and antioxidants
– feeding livestock with vitamins and antibiotics
Allergenic factors are thought to enter the foetus through the placenta as early as at pregnancy stage. The first three months of pregnancy as well as the fifth to seventh months, when the foetal reactivity to allergens is extremely high, are especially dangerous. So a newborn baby may already be allergic.
Substances that are foreign to the body and cause allergic reactions are called allergens. These are the antigens against which antibodies are made in the human body. Allergens are very diverse: food, dust mites, pollen, mould, various chemical elements and many more.
The most important factor in causing allergies is the production of antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the body, which is stimulated by repeated exposure to allergens. Some people have been found to produce very high levels of immunoglobulin E. That is dependent upon genetic factors.
There is also another form of allergy exists – a false allergy. The symptoms of the disease are the same as normal allergies (skin rashes, swelling, runny nose, shortness of breath), however the body does not have a genetic predisposition to produce IgE. Hypersensitivity of the body is of non-immune origin and is therefore also called intolerance. The body can react violently to foreign substances that have entered for the first time, especially if they are in large quantities (food, concentrates, medicines).
Allergies have their “target organs” that are attacked :
- Skin – allergies include itching, dandruff, redness, rash, blisters etc
- Respiratory system – allergy could cause breathing difficulties, runny nose, symptoms of bronchial asthma
- Gastrointestinal tract – could cause a diarrhoea, vomiting etc
- Eyes – allergies could cause redness, itching, tearing
- Cardiovascular system – an anaphylactic shock, the strongest allergic reaction may occur during which a person could die
If you experience any of these symptoms or if you notice them in your kids or relatives, don’t delay to see an allergist consultant. After performing allergological tests, an allergist will determine the cause of the allergy and prescribe the appropriate treatment. Allergy treatment should be started as early as possible – children can be treated from as early as 2 years of age. Desensitizing treatment is normally applied, where the body gradually becomes accustomed to the allergens.
Stay safe !